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These pages comprise a dictionary of terms relating to the pipe organ. Please keep definitions to a few sentences, and do not include pictures or sound clips. When more space is needed for a term, a new page can be created for it.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z



Aeoline [noun] - a string stop usually at 8' pitch. In American usage, usually the softest stop on the instrument.

American Classic - A style of organ developed in the 1930's largely by G. Donald Harrison (d. 1956) of the American firm of Aeolian-Skinner. The epitomized instrument is characterized by clarified flue choruses with prominent upperwork voiced on reduced wind pressure, a reedless Great, a comprehensive Swell division including a blazing reed chorus, and a Choir or Positiv division with low pressure flues. Although they were basically Romantic instruments, they were an attempt at building a new type of organ that could play most types of music. Successful or not, this style became the template for American organs for the next 40 years, and was the impetus that rescued American organ design from its unfortunate low state at the time.

Ancillary Division [noun] see Floating Division.

Antiphonal [noun] a division placed at a distance from the rest of the organ; usually a Floating Division. Usually contains loud ranks that can compete with the volume of the Main Organ. Contrast "Echo Division"

Armature Valve

Audsley, George Ashdown (1838-1925) - Scottish/English, later American, architect, organ theorist and designer. His famous and seminal works include The Art of Organ-Building, The Organ of the Twentieth Century, and The Temple of Tone. He was a strong proponent of the symphonic organ, yet advocated full choruses to mixtures as the core of the instrument. His influence can be seen in such instruments as the Wanamaker Organ in Philadelphia and the West Point Chapel organ.

Austin Organ Company - a long-time prominent American organ builder, founded in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1899, famous for many mechanical innovations.

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